Subjective camera preferences.....

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jalywol
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Subjective camera preferences.....
3 months ago

I was wondering how many other people out there have had what should be the "perfect" camera, but end up using something else for most of what they do?

As I am sure many readers know, I am an inveterate gearhead about M43 camera bodies.  I've enjoyed the format since my first M43 (an EPL1) 3 1/2 years ago, but I've felt like I have been chasing technology to get the output I have wanted in a camera that I enjoy operating.

Each new technological advance has been welcome; first the improved focusing speeds, then better sensors...but of course, with each new change, something else that I liked about a particular camera body gets altered to something less desirable for my uses.  It's always a tradeoff.....

However, what I seem to be discovering that in amongst all of this camera perfection/imperfection, there are some intangibles that seem to make me want to consistently reach for one camera over another.

Example:  I immediately took to two cameras; one was the GF3 and one was the GH2.  The GF3 felt wonderful in hand, but I ended up not using it much due to it having the old sensor, which frustrated me. I loved the GH2.  It was just at the upper edge of the size I like, but still within it.  Its down side was the greenish cast to its colors and difficult higher ISO performance.  When the EM5 came out, I was tempted by it for a few minutes, but then realized that there were things about it that would make me nuts (the small focus box thing (which has since been fixed) for one...and the grip...) so I stayed with the GH2.  Then when the GH3 came out, I bought one.  I was a little worried about its size, but I thought it would be ok.

There were a lot of nice things about the GH3 (beautifully balanced camera in hand, solid build, excellent DR), but I found that after I had had it for a couple of months, I started not looking forward to taking it out and using it.  It sat in the bag.  I decided to buy a smaller cam instead, so I got a G5, and sold the GH3. G5 was a perfect size, but it felt so plastic-y to me, and the shutter shock was terrible...so that got sold.  I figured I'd get a temporary M43 until the next gen of Panasonics and Olys came out, so I got an EPM2.  I adjusted ok to it, but I missed having a bigger rear screen and more direct controls.

When the EM1 came out, I thought I had found the perfect combo.  Great EVF, excellent performance, beautiful color rendition, IBIS, terrific build quality, and a nice grip.  So, I bought one.  It's a great camera.  However, when I reach for the bag, it's not the one that goes with me now.  I got a GM1 a few months ago as my second body, and even with its lack of direct controls, I was enjoying using it more than the EM1!  So, I started thinking that maybe a slightly lighter, slightly smaller camera with the UI I preferred would make more sense...and I bought a GX7 to try.  Of course, the first two GX7s I got were defective, so I figured that was that.  However, a good buy on one came around and I got a third.

I've had the GX7 now for about three weeks...and the EM1 stays in the back up bag at home, and the GX7 goes with me.  Even though the EM1 has a vastly superior viewfinder, and better IBIS, and the GX7 for sure has some quirks, I am just more comfortable using the GX7.  It is FAR from a perfect camera, but in three weeks, it seems have been able to become more invisible in my hands than the EM1 has after six months of use. Even after carefully programming the buttons and dials on the EM1 to work the way I want, I still get tripped up by its operation......and this is after using the Oly menu system for over a year (between the EPM2 and the EM1).  I think the Panasonic UI might just be too deeply ingrained in my brain at this point, perhaps....

I just think this whole thing is curious.  I suppose it's not a bad thing in a way....the one thing that has gotten very clear after this last round of camera experimenting for me is that the IQ of the most recent sensored M43 bodies is remarkably close between them all.  So, at least that factor in the equation of what camera to use is considerably reduced from earlier generation cameras. I just find it kind of strange that I am more comfortable with a camera with lots of quirks and a few significant flaws than a really solid and well thought out high level body.

Has anyone else had a similar experience?

-J

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